Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Fantastic Firsts for Fall, Palazzo Petrucci, Naples (Na)

 Since the Palazzo Petrucci's move from the heart of Naples's centro storico, to the picturesque seaside of Posillipo a few years back, diners can't resist a table by the window to enjoy the view of the beach, the water, and Mt Vesuvius in the far distance.

Chef Lino Scarallo

I, however, usually choose a seat in the main dining room where I sneak a peek at Chef Lino Scarallo and his brigade plating up dishes.  I especially enjoy his first course pasta dishes and a recent visit one windy fall afternoon did not disappoint.  On that particular day, the Lino fai tu menu included the following fantastic firsts.

Candele pasta with veal, oyster mayonnaise, lime and pepper.  

Homemade tagliolini pasta with sea bass all'acqua pazza.  Acqua pazza is literally translated as crazy water, though it is far from crazy.  It is basically a cooking technique for fish which is poached with garlic, a bit of white wine, parsley and a few cherry tomatoes.


Sunday, October 25, 2020

World Pasta Day, October 25, 2020

 I remember when I first came to Italy back in 1993, I was amazed at how many varieties of pasta recipes existed.  I mean, I was used to spaghetti bolognese (what I soon learned was a Neapolitan no-no).  As time went on, I learned to love pasta - that fantastic first - that I write often about on my blog.  

Today, October 25th, is World Pasta Day.  An initiative that dates back to 1995 (read more about it here)  I decided to celebrate this year with a nice plate of pasta at home, and this video which is a quick glance at some of the amazing pasta dishes that I have eaten over the past couple of years, prepared by  by Campania chefs, of course.

Boun appetito and Happy World Pasta Day!

Friday, October 23, 2020

A Mouth - Watering Masterpiece a Tavola, Il Faro Di Capo D'Orso, Maiori (Sa)


Chef Francesco Sodano

About  a year ago, I sat down with Chef Francesco Sodano.  As I enjoyed dessert, the chef shared with me his thoughts and reflections of his first season at the Michelin starred Il Faro di Capo D’Orso.  Sodano also shared with me his plans for his ‘time off’.  Sodano loves to travel, and one of the many trips he had scheduled was a trip to Madrid – for work and pleasure.  It was on that trip to Madrid where Sodano, a contemporary art lover, visited the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía.  There he saw, up close and personal, Pablo Picasso’s Trois têtes de mouton (Three Lamb's Heads).  His inspiration for a dish that was a highlight for me last weekend during lunch. 

3 pm, Saturday afternoon.  Chef Sodano was at my table when a mini version of Picasso’s masterpiece arrived.  He explained to me that this dish, his Three Lambs Heads, would be served in three parts.  

Let’s take a look…

Sodano's lamb loin. Loin aged 2 months in beeswax with sesame tofu, barbequed endive,  and oxidized cauliflower powder.  

Sodano's lacquered lamb belly, with  bergamot gel,  and sorrel.  This piece of lamb practically melts in your mouth.  I am still dreaming about that mesmerizing citrus aroma!

Sodano's lamb’s head.  And he means head in every sense of the word.  Everything that can be found in the head of the lamb, accompanied by an emulsion of pecorino and salsa verde all enclosed in soft bread fermented 48 hours in a siphon.

As I enjoyed the last bite of this third head, I looked to my right.  There was Sodano – reflecting.  Then he looked over at me to share memories of home.  Though Sodano’s version is for his gourmet diners, the flavors ofthis dish brought him back home, where it wasn’t uncommon to serve baked lamb’s head with herbs and spices. 

 So, a chef’s love for travel and art inspired this dish.  I couldn’t help but wonder  what other museum visits would would show up on his table in the future.

Well, said Sodano.....

We are going to have to wait until next season for that mouth-watering masterpiece.